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#gamergate entitled babies literal nazis men who should not ever be with imaginary women ever men who should not ever be with women ever misogyny MRA

Today in #GamerGate: Entitled manchildren use manic pixel dream girl as their shield (again)

Vivian James would rather be playing video games.
Vivian James, Agent of SHIELD

Like their identical cousins the Men’s Rights Activists, GamerGaters have a bizarre fondness for terrible graphics and “memes” and collages of blurry screenshots designed – if that’s the word for it – to spread their sometimes incomprehensible propaganda.

The graphic above, found on Twitter, is my favorite GamerGate graphic so far, I think, and not only because it looks like a famous old Windows screensaver gone wrong. No, this little graphic wins my heart because it so baldly, if inadvertently, reveals the sheer ridiculous hypocrisy of GamerGaters claims of victimhood, and the intellectual bankruptcy of their #NotYourShield campaign.

In the graphic, as you can see, GamerGate’s mascot Vivian James, the perpetually petulant girl gamer who wants to do nothing but game, tries to fend off an array of accusations and epithets swirling around her. “Cis White Male,” “Misogynist,” “Rapist,” “KKK,” “MRA.”

But Vivian James can’t be any of those things, apparently, because she’s a GIRL. NOT YOUR SHIELD!

While it’s certainly true that Vivian James is not a cis white male, or a rapist or a member of the KKK,  it’s also true that she is COMPLETELY IMAGINARY.

Unlike all those GamerGaters who are indeed cis white males, misogynists, rapists, nazis and MRAs.

If you’re trying to change the perception that your movement is made up of a bunch of entitled (and, FWIW, mostly white) manchildren who feel threatened by real women with opinions different from their own, you might want to think twice about using a manic pixel dream girl whose slogan is “shut up and play” as your, yep, shield.

Oh, I know, there are real women involved in GamerGate. But aside from Vivian James and the non-gaming “based mom” Christina Hoff Sommers, and perhaps our friend Cameralady, it’s doubtful even most GamerGaters could name more than one or two, if that.

EDIT: As several people on Twitter have reminded me, I forgot to mention one of the most creepy things about Vivian J. — the color scheme of her sweater is apparently a reference to a really creepy, rapey meme called “piccolo dick.” Which you can read about here, if for whatever reason you want to.

Also: the phrase “manic pixel dream girl,” a reference to the manic pixie dream girl trope, popped into my head partway through writing this. But after posting this I decided to google it to see if anyone else had used the phrase — it seems like a pretty obvious one. And indeed people have. Here’s a cartoon called Manic Pixel Dream Girl, an account of growing up as a female video gamer.

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kmusky
kmusky
6 years ago

@AltoFronto,

Whenever I think of Gamergate and web comics, I think of this…

http://www.pvponline.com/comic/2014/09/17/heres-the-pitch

Bogdan Cvetkovic
6 years ago

Want a big bag of kittens? Never, ever read 4chan, unless you want to feel like maybe aliens should nuke the whole planet so we can just start over again.

Planet Vegeta isn’t the only filthy monkey planet out there. Frieza needs to blow up earth too.

Leum
Leum
6 years ago

Also. there’s nothing like seeing the term “cis” framed as if it were an insult to clearly tell you that you’re dealing with someone of manospherian origin.

It’s not just a manosphere thing. All sorts of transphobic people hate the term.

Macha
Macha
6 years ago

I love the lack of awareness.

I mean, the meme kinda shows that to them, actually getting called on their actions – that they can stop any time – is worse than these actions.

They can’t undermine themselves better.

Liz Baker (@wizardofliz)

Hey, David,

I love this site. I really do.

Recently though it was brought to my attention that our tendency to use phrases like “manchildren” against MRAs is kind of… crummy. Shitrichcollegekidssay on Tumblr recently went through a shitstorm after one of the mods noted that infantalizing language like that has its roots in ableism and the stigmatization of neuroatypical people. Stuff like “mentally five years old” was and continues to be leveled against people with developmental disabilities to undermine their right to advocate for their own interests, and similar concepts are part of what lets society sympathize with parents who murder their developmentally-disabled children.

I know that was a huge paragraph of jargon, but if I’d had any doubts on this the tidal wave of bad feminists rushing in to accuse the mods of undermining feminism and siding with MRAs and so on and so on, _just because they had asked that certain words not be used when ridiculing MRAs_, really did a great job of convincing me that this is worth addressing.

I know you’ve made a bazillion posts, and I’m not asking you to edit every one that used a word like “manchildren” — just to think about getting away from that language in the future. We can say that MRAs are entitled, spoiled asshats; we can say a lot of things, without resorting to calling willful ignorance “crazy delusions” or assholery “childishness”.

magnesium
6 years ago

@bertie:

Woah dude, you mean this SlushStuff?
comment image:large

Sexist and racist. Yes she seems like a real winner and the perfect face of your hate movement.

Like I keep saying, there are lots of horrible women in the world. The fact that you can round them up and get them to cheerlead for you doesn’t make you less of a misogynist.

AltoFronto
AltoFronto
6 years ago

Coincidentally, I’ve been re-watching Buffy online lately… and I turned on the TV right now and Dragonball Evolution is on Film4… and apparently Piccolo is played by…. James Marsters. And now I’m not sure how I feel about my favourite on-screen vampire, since I now associate his face with that gif. 🙁

weirwoodtreehugger
6 years ago

Liz Baker,
We already had that debate here a couple of weeks ago. I don’t know that anyone really feels like resurrecting it. The majority opinion seemed to be that it’s OK to say manchildren so lets just go with that.

Bina
Bina
6 years ago

And besides, Gamergomers are doing the “hold your breath and turn blue” thing. If that’s not thinking like a tantrummy toddler, I don’t know WHAT is.

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
6 years ago

And MGTOW is basically “I’m running away from home, mom, just you try and stop me! Wait, why aren’t you trying to stop me?”

Amnesia
Amnesia
6 years ago

Vivian James: FREE HER!

proxieme
proxieme
6 years ago

@cassandrakitty – I’d like a bag of kittens, but I’m nowafraid that 4chaners (or 8chaners o_O ) would steal them and drown them in a river for teh lulz.

These people make space-based frozen penal colonies make sense.

katz
6 years ago

It’s a mark of how much time I’ve spent with the manosphere that I’m impressed that they managed to draw a more or less normal looking cartoon character.

andiexist
andiexist
6 years ago

@katz

They didn’t draw her. She’s a 3d render, at least in this one.

hellkell
hellkell
6 years ago

Hye Liz, when they stop acting like children having a tantrum because they didn’t get what they want, I’ll stop using “manchildren.” Please don’t bring Tumblr shitstorms here.

hellkell
hellkell
6 years ago

the tidal wave of bad feminists

I should ignore you, but I just don’t roll my joints that way. Who died and left you in charge of who’s a good or bad feminist? GTFO.

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
6 years ago

Speaking of tidal waves I’m starting to think that some sort of Tumblr-proof sea wall might be a good idea. I’m not trying to shut the people over there up, they can talk about whatever they want, but if they could stop flooding feminist communities with their silliness that would be nice.

Leum
Leum
6 years ago

Wouldn’t that kinda defeat the purpose of having a WHTM tumblr? I mean, there is one, David runs it; I’m sure he’d shut it down if he felt it was counterproductive.

hellkell
hellkell
6 years ago

Leum: what? I meant that I don’t care what the general Tumblr crowd argues about, but I’d rather they not come here and drag in stupid.

M. the Social Justice Ranger
M. the Social Justice Ranger
6 years ago

@Liz Baker

Just to explain why “Manchildren” isn’t ableism: It’s not comparing MRAs and #Gaters to mentally disabled people or mentally disabled people to children, it’s comparing MRAs and #Gaters to literal children in the schoolyard, what with their “Girls have cooties” nonsense, egocentric tantrums, constant bullying and “I learned a new dirty word! Boobies!” tryhard-ness… That’s not a word, but whatever, I’m sure you get what I mean. =P

thebewilderness
thebewilderness
6 years ago

I think most peeps know better than to use the common troll tactic of “someone did something somewhere and therefore you…”
Unless, of course, they are intending to troll the house.

El Cid
6 years ago

A bunch of whining males who think they’re oppressed because womenfolk now talk about videogames in ways they don’t like then create an imaginary female cartoon character whose existence and words they totally control in order to simulate females who agree with them.

No, not creepy or symbolic at all.

lkeke35
6 years ago

I love that. I’ve never heard of that guy.

Leum
Leum
6 years ago

Leum: what? I meant that I don’t care what the general Tumblr crowd argues about, but I’d rather they not come here and drag in stupid.

Just that right now, because WHTM has a tumblr that links to the posts here, it seems like Tumblr people coming here is a feature, not a bug.

Aerinea
Aerinea
6 years ago

“Vivian James: FREE HER!”

Yes, we totally should help free her! I wonder if she uses her mic in team games on random servers. The main reason I generally refused to even go on public servers when I was playing lots of Left4Dead was so I didn’t have to deal with the asshats I knew were waiting to harass me for the crime of playing while female, especially since I preferred Zoey just so that my character and I would share a gender.

Another interesting thing about the purple-and-green color combo: yes, it may be connected to “Daily Dose,” but it also is the color scheme for Disney’s Fairies/Pixie Hollow lifestyle brand. Vivian should have a favorite Pixie Hollow character. I vote Zarina.

pallygirl
pallygirl
6 years ago

@Leum:

Just that right now, because WHTM has a tumblr that links to the posts here, it seems like Tumblr people coming here is a feature, not a bug.

And so what?

Unimaginative
6 years ago

@Leum, the thing with Tumblr is that a lot of Tumblrs seem to have developed a code, where words mean things that they don’t mean in other places. I don’t have a problem with Tumblr people coming here, what I have a problem with is them coming here and insisting that THEIR word meanings are the correct ones, and policing people who use words in the normal way.

It’s one thing to talk about the problematic implications of unthinking use of a slur, and try not to use it anymore, or at least around people who find it hurtful. It’s another thing to come into a different place, and get enraged that people are using a word you find objectionable because *you’ve* added meanings to it that nobody else is aware of.

Skye
Skye
6 years ago

The main reason I generally refused to even go on public servers when I was playing lots of Left4Dead was so I didn’t have to deal with the asshats I knew were waiting to harass me for the crime of playing while female, especially since I preferred Zoey just so that my character and I would share a gender.

Ditto. Only played Left for Dead (1&2) with folks I knew after that one time.

katz
6 years ago

I move we start a #FreeVivianJames hashtag.

Aerinea
Aerinea
6 years ago

Seconding Katz’s suggestion.

@Skye, I have a feeling that our experience is excessively common.

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
6 years ago

Someone who’s good at art should make her a friend and start tweeting that at gamergaters.

NickNameNick
NickNameNick
6 years ago

I remember there being a false equivalence-ridden, apologetic article about GamerGate that also had the gall to try acting as if it was impartial as well – even though almost everything about it lionized Gaters while demonizing anyone who didn’t like it:

http://techcrunch.com/2014/09/25/gamergate-an-issue-with-2-sides/

(And you know he’s totally impartial due to having a twitter name like “Libertarian Blue” and retweets comments made by such ingenious minds like Adam Baldwin and Milo Yiannopoulos, or making dumb claims like “[t]he hostility of politics towards facts has echoes of creationism / religion. That’s why skeptics (correctly) rejected Atheism Plus.” Weird, all those anti-Atheism+ types seemed to outright loathe any facts brought up by, well, anyone…)

One of the writer’s argument as to why people should stop being so mean to GamerGate: they came up with Vivian James! He claims she is non-idealized (even though she is) and how she represents how the “movement” isn’t sexist (even though she’s purely fictional and not real – though it wouldn’t matter if that was the case).

This is like arguing there is no sexism among comicbook readers ’cause, hey, they have superheroines like Wonder Woman! ‘Cause, y’know, nevermind Powergirl’s “boob window” or the “boobs-and-butt pose” documented by sites like the Hawkeye Initiative or the “Women in Refrigerators” trope or how many artists try and insert as many gratuitous views of a woman’s posterior despite being inappropriate.

pallygirl
pallygirl
6 years ago

I feel sad that Poutine is not in the comic, otherwise great. 🙂

NickNameNick
NickNameNick
6 years ago

I did like the touch of having one of them wearing knight armor… 😀

Bina
Bina
6 years ago

I love that comic, Katz!

And maybe, if anyone can find green and purple striped hoodies, we can all go as her for Halloween? I’d have mine stencilled “Feminist Irony Shirt” first, though, just so the world knows it IS a costume.

Unimaginative
6 years ago

Katz, that’s awesome!

kittehserf - MOD
6 years ago

katz, love it!

Is the third one Pierre? If he is, where is his moustache? ::cries::

katz
6 years ago

The third one isn’t Pierre. I think it’s a Social Justice Commissar. Keeps the other SJWs in line, yanno.

kittehserf - MOD
6 years ago

It was the hat that fooled me. 🙂

Bogdan Cvetkovic
6 years ago

@katz, that’s brilliant! Social Justice SWAT Team to the rescue!

Aerinea
Aerinea
6 years ago

A quick concept, also banged out quickly, Sigourney Ride. Like Vivian James (video games), her name is based on something related to gaming. Strategy guide. She knows Vivian from Steam.

http://fc05.deviantart.net/fs70/f/2014/299/0/2/gamer_girl_by_aerinea-d84au19.jpg

(please excuse my lack of knowing how to embed links)

jparsons42
jparsons42
6 years ago

Green and purple was my fav color combo as a kid, I think maybe originally because of Barney. (Slightly embarrassing, but true.) 🙁 🙁 🙁

weirwoodtreehugger
6 years ago

Green and purple are actually my two favorite colors. But I don’t ever wear them together. I like to pair a bright color with a neutral.

katz
6 years ago

Aerinea: I like. “Sigourney Ride” is an awesome name because it makes me think of Sigourney Weaver and Sally Ride.

…And now I am sad that there is no movie about Sally Ride starring Sigourney Weaver.

jparsons42
jparsons42
6 years ago

WWTH, I guess kids sometimes have garish taste. I remember having a green and a purple pair of Keds, and wearing one of each with an opposite colored sock on each foot.

strivingally
6 years ago

Alternate names:
Evelyn Hupp (levelin’ up!)
Shiva Talok (achievement unlocked… okay, that one’s a stretch)
Xenia Platt (or anything else that gives you “XP” as initials)

I’m hitting a mental block here.

katz
6 years ago

Wanda Tu (walkthrough)

Effie Price (FPS)

Emma Mo

Aerinea
Aerinea
6 years ago

katz, I wanted to invoke those two awesome women on purpose!